Senate Moving Away From Comprehensive Approach to Cybersecurity?

Jacob Olcott, former counsel to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, believes the Senate will likely take a piecemeal approach to cyber legislation whereby all committees with cybersecurity interests or oversight will draft their own versions of a bill, according to Government Info Security.

You can read or listen to an interview with Olcott here, but it boils down to three points:

  1. A discussion of the specifics of the draft legislation, “such as those that would require the government to determine how to identify specific messages emanating from the Internet and deal with the insider threat;”
  2. A description of the importance of legislation, according to Olcott, as “a vehicle to inform the executive branch of Congress’ cybersecurity priorities; and”
  3. An explanation and rationale for the piecemeal approach to cybersecurity legislation.

FCW reports that Representative Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) has similarly expressed support for an approach that would target issues that maintain some degree of consensus rather than a comprehensive approach.

FCW quotes Thornberry as saying:

We’ve been frozen legislatively for years, not being able to do anything.  So let’s not try to do everything.  Let’s take it in bite-size chunks and make some advancement.  I think there is enough concern about cyber in both parties that there is a chance to do it.  I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but the more focus we take in these bit-size chunks we have, the better chance we’ll have.

This latter article also addresses the future of U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), specifically, whether it will remain a sub-unified command under U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM).  According to FCW, Thornberry believes that it will not and when that time comes, the new question will center on the leadership structures of the National Security Agency and USCYBERCOM.


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